MADISON, Wis. — Complaints by the Big Oil-funded American for Prosperity about taxes are a smokescreen to prevent Wisconsin lawmakers from enacting a windfall tax on the excessive profits gained by the oil industry by gouging consumers with record-setting gas prices.
“Americans for Prosperity is one arm of a concerted effort to convince us that those who haven’t paid their fair share, like Big Oil, still shouldn’t,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “Big Oil gained record profits and we got record-high gas prices. When is enough of our money enough for Big Oil?”
American for Prosperity was founded in 2003 by the profits of David and Charles Koch, owners of the country’s largest privately-held company in America, Koch Industries. Koch has annual sales of $90 billion, according to the Center on Media and Democracy.
The five biggest oil companies annually collect over $100 billion in combined profits. Last year, while Wisconsinites paid more than $4 a gallon for gas, Exxon had double-digit growth in revenue for each quarter. Exxon set a record for profit, posting more than $11 billion in the second quarter of 2008, only to surpass that record the next quarter.
“We are not going to solve the economic problems of these trying times by doing business as usual,” said Ross. “The Bush administration let Big Oil do whatever it wanted for eight years and we all see the result of these disastrous policies with stagnant wages and slashed taxes for millionaires and billionaires.”
One Wisconsin Now raised similar concerns recently about efforts by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance to understate the amount of the state’s $5.4 billion deficit. One Wisconsin Now’s research showed the board members listed on the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance have donated a staggering $288,000 to Republican and conservative candidates since 1991, according to available data from the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.
That report is available on the One Wisconsin Now website here.